Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has a long history in culinary use giving curries their yellow appearance and distinct taste. The main active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin, which is from a curcuminoid compound. Curcumin has a distinct mustard-like smell with a slightly bitter, peppery and earthy flavour.
Whilst the health benefits of consuming turmeric have gained popularity recently, turmeric has actually been used in traditional herbal medicine for over 4,000 years for a variety of conditions such as toothaches, bruises, jaundice, colic and many more.
Research studies have shown that curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory effects on our bodies and is
highly recommended for treating arthritis with its pain relieving properties. In fact, it has been shown that the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin are comparable to over-the-counter pharmaceutical medications but without any toxic side effects that some medications cause.
Turmeric is also an amazing antioxidant so will fight free radicals in our bodies which can cause disease, such as cancer.Turmeric is great for detoxing the liver, treating inflammatory bowel diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) as well as relieving indigestion and supporting cardiovascular health.
Research on turmeric and its active curcumin component are numerous. Studies show that to gain any anti-inflammatory benefits from turmeric you need to consume per day either 1.5 - 3g of fresh root; approx. 3g of dried root (powder) or supplements containing 300-500mg of curcumin.
The most efficient way to experience the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric is via a supplement. Supplement manufacturers extract the curcumin from the turmeric root to provide a concentrated standardised dose which delivers a significant therapeutic quantity of curcumin.
The other benefits of turmeric are easily achieved by incorporating turmeric powder in your diet. You don’t have to eat curries 24-7! Try these ideas:
1. Add it to your cooking – fortify soups, mix with scrambled eggs, toss it amongst your roast veggies before cooking.
2. Blend it into a smoothie or cold pressed juice – add a pinch of ground turmeric to your greens smoothie for an antioxidant kick.
3. Jazz up a salad – sprinkle onto your greens or add it to your salad dressing. Turmeric is also great to add to a mashed avocado and seasoned with salt and pepper for a yummy sandwich.
4. Brew a tea – Stir ¼ tsp into a cup of boiled water. Simmer for approx. 8-10mins and strain. Add some raw honey and/or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a delicious beverage.
5. Add to your mustard – combine 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp fine celtic salt, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp water to ½ cup of ground mustard. Store in the fridge.
6. Make your own Golden Honey – mix 1 tbsp turmeric powder with 7 tbsps of raw honey. Take when you need an immune booster by dissolving ½ tsp of the mixture in your mouth every few hours.
Remember when buying turmeric powder avoid cheap brands which are usually irradiated and treated with pesticides. Always look for organic ground turmeric or buy it fresh from your local markets. Before choosing a turmeric supplement chat with the friendly team at Mojo Health but always consult with your healthcare practitioner to make sure turmeric is the right supplement for you.